Alcorn: Jesus wasn’t indifferent about gays

Published 6:31 am Monday, June 25, 2012

Jesus never said a word about homosexuality, and of all the hypocrites he called such as “white-washed sepultures,” he never named any GLBTQs. He drove money-changers and merchants out of the Temple, but he expressed no concern about any gays.

Reaching moral conclusions on the four Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life and quotations from both his private conversations and public discourses, some take it that Jesus would be indifferent to homosexuality today and has left the questions about this and such related matters as same-sex marriage entirely to our wishes.

Yet, Jesus did teach moral principles directly relevant to the question of homosexuality and same-sex marriage. There is biblical guidance useable in today’s considerations by anyone regardless of religious preferences. Moreover, for those who believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God and without error in its teaching, this rises above guidance offered to mandate imposed.

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Just what, then, is this teaching? Starting where Jesus started in the Book of Genesis (remember, it too was in the Bible he used and is in that which has passed on to us), God created human beings “male and female.” He directly addressed the first man and the first woman: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and take charge of it.”

As the story is retold from a different perspective in Chapter Two, the Creator is reported as saying to himself, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help suitable for him.” So, God put the man in “a deep sleep” and took from his side and from this God “made into a woman and brought her to the man.”

At this primal wedding, the man looked at the woman brought to him by God and said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (there being a play on the Hebrew words “from Man, Woman”).

As the narrative was transmitted from generation to generation by oral tradition until it was put into written form by Moses, the conclusion is: “Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Things are now what God intended them to be: “And the man and his wife were both nude and were [nonetheless] not ashamed.” Their anatomical difference was natural and honest; it made sense, because they are now compliments to each other and biologically capable of reproducing themselves with progeny.

With this Jesus did agree and said so. He quoted the Genesis texts as authoritative for his disciples as he taught them the nature of life. Both Matthew and Mark recorded Jesus’ words. So, also, did the Apostle Paul in the Epistle to the Ephesians. So, the Hebrew Old Testament account and exhortation is quoted three times in the New Testament: a man shall leave his mother and father and be married to the woman God gives to him.

Jesus did not speak differently from the rest of the Bible, and everything in the rest of scripture is consonant with what Jesus taught. God’s Word is a good deal more than what he said through Jesus during the few years of his ministry.

The Bible is not a book written to oppose homosexuality, and it certainly is not hostile to homosexuals. It is, however, for the marriage of one man to one woman, as that which the Creator established for human relationships, for family.

Nothing in the Bible teaches to hate gays, but to love all persons as “God so loved the world.”

The Bible teaches, then, that when God gives that ultimate degree of human love to two persons that will mate them as one flesh, it is to one man and to one woman. No matter how one might torture Jesus’ words or the words of the rest of the Bible, it simply cannot come out any other way.

The crucial issue is not whether Jesus or the Bible forbids homosexuality or homosexuals or same-sex marriage, but whether a person is willing to believe and obey God’s Word.